Tag: Immaculate Conception

The Surprising Day the Devil Himself Praised Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

The Surprising Day the Devil Himself Praised Mary’s Immaculate Conception.

During an exorcism in Italy in 1823, two Dominican priests made the Devil acknowledge the dogma that would be declared 30 years later!

December 8, 1854: Pope Pius IX promulgates the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

March 25, 1858: On the feast of the Incarnation of the Word, the Blessed Virgin appears in Lourdes to St. Bernadette and confirms the dogma, saying, “I am the Immaculate Conception.”

But 20 years earlier, another supernatural and surprising event had already confirmed the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mother of God. And the one who declared it was someone we would never have expected to do so. The event is related to Fr. Gabriele Amorth, a late exorcist of the Diocese of Rome.

It was the year 1823. The devil had possessed an illiterate 12-year-old boy, who lived in what is today the Italian province of Avellino, near Naples in southern Italy. Two Dominican priests who were in the city, Fr. Gassiti and Fr. Pignataro, were both authorized by the bishop to perform exorcisms.

The priests asked the demon that was possessing the boy a series of questions—among them, one about the Immaculate Conception.

The devil admitted that the Virgin of Nazareth had never been under his power: not even at the first instant of her life because she was conceived “full of grace” and fully belonging to God.

Although he may be the “father of lies,” the devil can be forced to tell the truth during an exorcism, even in matters of faith. This was how the two exorcists forced him to pay homage to the Virgin and praise her Immaculate Conception, in verse.

Humiliated, the devil was coerced, in the name of Christ, to sing the glory of Mary, and he did so by means of a sonnet in Italian—perfect in form and in theology!

Here, we present the original in Italian, and then the translation into English:

In Italian:

Vera Madre son Io d’un Dio che è Figlio
e son figlia di Lui, benché sua Madre;
ab aeterno nacqu’Egli ed è mio Figlio,
in tempo Io nacqui e pur gli sono Madre.

Egli è mio creator ed è mio Figlio,
son Io sua creatura e gli son Madre;
fu prodigo divin l’esser mio Figlio
un Dio eterno, e Me d’aver per Madre.

L’esser quasi è comun tra Madre e Figlio
perché l’esser dal Figlio ebbe la Madre,
e l’esser dalla Madre ebbe anche il Figlio.

Or, se l’esser dal Figlio ebbe la Madre,
o s’ha da dir che fu macchiato il Figlio,
o senza macchia s’ha da dir la Madre.

In English:

I am the true Mother of a God who is Son,
And I am his daughter, although his Mother;

He was born from eternity, and is my Son,

I was born within time, and yet I am his Mother.

He is my creator, and is my Son,
I am his creation, and his mother;

It was a divine marvel that my Son

Was an eternal God, who had Me as his Mother.

Our being is almost shared between Mother and Son

Because the Mother received her existence from her Son,

And the Son also received his existence from his Mother.

If, then, the Son received his existence from his Mother,

We either must say that the Son was stained by the Mother,

Or we must say that the Mother is Immaculate.

O Mary Conceived Without Original Sin, Pray For Us Who Have Recourse To Thee!

What Are The Holy Days of Obligation In The Catholic Church?

What Are The Holy Days of Obligation In The Catholic Church?

On holy days of obligation, Catholics are obliged to participate in Mass. Every Sunday is a holy day of obligation, as are six other days throughout the year. In the United States, these holy days of obligation are

  • January 1: The Feast of Mary, the Mother of God

  • 40 days after Easter Sunday: Ascension Thursday

  • August 15: Assumption of Mary into heaven

  • November 1: All Saints’ Day

  • December 8: The Feast of the Immaculate Conception

  • December 25: Christmas, the Nativity of Our Lord

Holy days are like Sundays in that Catholics must attend Mass, and if possible, refrain from unnecessary servile work. Some Catholic countries, such as Italy, Spain, and Ireland, give legal holiday status to some of these holy days, so people can attend Mass and be with family instead of at work.

In the United States, Christmas Day (December 25) and the Immaculate Conception (December 8) are always days of obligation. Christmas and Easter (which always falls on Sunday) are the highest-ranking holy days, and the Immaculate Conception is the feast for the United States. However, if any of the other holy days falls on a Saturday or Monday, they aren’t considered holy days of obligation, because they’re back-to-back with Sunday. The concern is that it would be burdensome to many Catholics to have to go to church two days in a row.

To make things even more confusing, some parts of the United States have moved holy days, such as the Ascension from Thursday to the closest Sunday. If in doubt, it’s best to call the local Catholic parish or just go to Mass anyway. Attending Mass is never a waste of time, even if it ends up not being a holy day of obligation.

Europe has four more holy days than the United States observes: January 6 (Epiphany), March 19 (St. Joseph), Corpus Christi (Thursday after Trinity Sunday, which is the Sunday after Pentecost, which is 50 days after Easter), and the Solemnity of St. Peter and St. Paul (June 29).

Prayers To Our Lady Of Lourdes For Healing Of The Sick

Prayers To Our Lady Of Lourdes For Healing Of The Sick

O powerful Virgin of Lourdes, full of affliction and with tears in our eyes, we fly unto you, Comforter of the afflicted and health of the sick. Placing in you all our confidence, cognizant of the innumerable and wonderful cures made by you not only in Lourdes but all over the world, we humbly prostrate before you in this dreadful hour of distress and sickness and beseech you with all the fervor, faith and devotion of our souls to hear the supplication which we direct to you in favor of this our beloved patient 
(mention the name)
Since you have worked so many cures among your devotees, do make one more and save this beloved member of our family. Take him (her) from all danger if it will not be an obstacle to his (her) salvation and we solemnly promise you to spend the rest of our lives as good and practical Catholics in thanksgiving for your powerful patronage.
Virgin of Lourdes, pray for us (Hail Mary)

Comforter of the afflicted, pray for us (Hail Mary)

Health of the sick, pray for us (Hail Mary)

Hail, Holy Queen…
O ever Immaculate Virgin, Mother of mercy, health of the sick, refuge of sinners, comfort of the afflicted, you know my wants, my troubles, my sufferings; deign to cast upon me a look of mercy. By appearing in the Grotto of Lourdes, you were pleased to make it a privileged sanctuary, whence you dispense your favors, and already many sufferers have obtained the cure of their infirmities, both spiritual and corporal. I come, therefore, with the most unbounded confidence, to implore your maternal intercession. Obtain, O loving Mother, the grant of my requests. I will endeavor to imitate your virtues, that I may one day share your glory, and bless you in eternity. Amen. 
* Do you believe in miracles? This prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes printed above commemorates a beautiful one! In 1858 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to Bernadette Soubirous (both pictured above), a humble 14-year-old French girl in a grotto near the town of Lourdes in France asking for, among other things, prayer and penance for sinners. 
During the ninth of her 18 different appearances to Bernadette that year, our Lady of Lourdes, as Mary became known in association with these events, had the girl dig up a spring of water where none had been found before. The water flowing from this spring, although pure, did not have any extraordinary scientific or medical properties. It has nonetheless been the source of countless miraculous cures for 150 years!
Our Lady requested in her 13th appearance that the priests in the region process to the grotto and that a chapel be built there. Fr. Peyramale, the parish priest of Lourdes asked Bernadette name of the lady who was giving her this request. He was thoroughly convinced as to its authenticity when the girl told him three weeks later, after the 16th apparition, that our Lady had told her “I am the Immaculate Conception.”
This was indeed astounding, almost as much so as the cures for various ailments that started taking place when people washed themselves with the spring water from the grotto. The Dogma of the Immaculate Conception, that the Blessed Virgin Mary was born without Original Sin, had been officially established by Pope Pius IX in 1854. However, Bernadette had no knowledge of this when she ran all the way to the rectory to see Fr. Peyramale, repeating the name Our Lady gave her over and over so she wouldn’t forget it!
This was just one of the miracles associated with Our Lady of Lourdes. The stream of water soon produced a steady stream of visitors seeking aid for their afflictions. The Church investigated the apparitions of Our Lady of Lourdes thoroughly and Bishop Laurence of the diocese of Tarbes-et-Lourdes declared them to be authentic in 1862.
A church was built at the site of the grotto in the 1860’s, followed by two basilicas there (one that opened in 1876 and another in 1901), and finally, the Basilica of St. Pius X, known as the underground Basilica that was completed in 1958 marking the centennial of the apparitions. 
St.Bernadette once said of the spring she discovered that “one must have faith and pray; the water will have no virtue without faith.” Let us all be inspired by this prayer to Our Lady of Lourdes approach her with faith, hope and love!

The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes

The Story of Our Lady of Lourdes

On February 11, 1858 a 14 year-old girl named Bernadette Soubirous witnessed the first of 18 visions of her blessed Virgin Mary at a grotto near Lourdes, France.  The first apparition appeared when Bernadette was gathering wood with her sister and a friend.  Bernadette heard a noise like a gust of wind and looked up toward the grotto.  She described what she saw:  “I saw a lady dressed in white.  She wore a white dress, an equally white veil, a blue belt and a yellow rose on each foot.”

 Upon seeing the Lady, who had a Rosary draped over her right arm, Bernadette began praying the Rosary.  When the prayer ended the Lady suddenly vanished.  On a subsequent visit to the grotto, the lady spoke.  Bernadette asked the Lady to write down her name, and the Lady replied:  “It is not necessary,” and then added, “I do not promise to make you happy in this world, but in the next. Would you be kind enough to come here for a fortnight?”  In the weeks that followed, there were several more apparitions of the Lady at the grotto.

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